Sino-Myanmar trade provides huge investment chances

Updated: 2013-01-16 05:59

By Li Tao (HK Edition)

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 Sino-Myanmar trade provides huge investment chances

Speakers exchange their views during the workshop.

Bilateral trade and economic exchanges between China and Myanmar, the two neighboring countries in Asia, have great potential and offer huge investment opportunities for businesses from both sides, a panelist from Myanmar said during the partnership forum in Hong Kong on Tuesday.

Kyaw Hlaing, president and research director of Myanmar Survey Research, said the up-to-date information showed that the combined amount of foreign direct investment (FDI) from the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong - the first and third largest foreign investors to the country - reached over $20 billion in Myanmar last year, accounting for nearly half of the total $41 billion FDI received by the country during the year 2012.

Hydro power, oil and gas, as well as the mining sectors attracted the most investment from abroad as the ASEAN economy that is rich in natural resources has either provided investment opportunities or opened doors for foreign investors to access these assets, Hlaing said during the forum titled "China-ASEAN Business Partnership" sponsored by the China Daily.

Myanmar's total foreign trade reached $13.3 billion in 2012, contributing to about 27 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) for the whole year, after the country exported natural products including natural gas, agricultural products, gems and jewelry as well as timber and garments, and imported various products including diesel and petroleum, automobile, construction steel, medicine, food and electronic products from other countries, Hlaing added.

But Myanmar's relatively poor infrastructural conditions today still hinders some foreign investors from expanding their business, which, on the other hand, provides great room for Chinese construction enterprises to seek business opportunities in this regard.

"Myanmar is a good market for the sales of Chinese products as we find them affordable and the quality is also acceptable," Hlaing told China Daily on the sidelines of the roundtable.

Although most investors from Myanmar may still find it difficult to locate appropriate business opportunities in China, the increasing salary bases on the Chinese mainland, however, is paving the way for more Chinese companies to consider setting up their manufacturing facilities in Myanmar to take advantage of the relatively cheaper labor costs there, according to Hlaing.

litao@chinadailyhk.com

(HK Edition 01/16/2013 page2)